Tag Archives: Big Lies

🙄 “Making Lambertville Better” & “Stopping Over-Development” are only Acceptable if Achieved by LU & Former/Incoming Councilman Stegman

LU’s Supposed “Survey” about Closson Farm Leads you to Oppose It

Lambertville Mayor Julia Fahl, proposes that the City purchase the Closson Property and protect it before it becomes another tract of houses and condos on one of the last remaining open spaces in Lambertville. Her proposal includes purchase using existing funds and partners to limit the taxpayer cost to .63/household/year. (That’s cents.) Housing conversion estimates of the idyllic and historic farm vary from 12 units (current zoning) to 28 units (with variances). The property is currently on the market and could be purchased by a developer at any time. (See the City’s FAQ.)

Self-proclaimed “watchdog group” and 1st Amendment advocates “Lambertville United” apparently think this is a bad ideaespecially if it is done before former Council Person Steve Stegman returns to his seat on the Council. Stegman you may recall, after many years on Council, and serving as Council President, resigned “to spend more time with his family” when the Fahl administration’s budget work revealed years of mismanagement, incompetence, and hidden costs in City budgets resulting in a crushing debt burden for at least the next ten years. (Many details available on the City web site.) With the endorsement and support of LU, Stegman, and his conveniently-named running mate, Benedetta Lambert, won election, returning the fox to the henhouse starting in 2021.

In mid-November, the “watchdog group” distributed a “survey” requesting feedback on “the Mayor’s Closson Farm” proposal.

I have screenshotted the entire survey (LU Closson Survey Questions) if you would rather not subject yourself to the trackers associated with it.

As in previous “surveys” from the Stegman, er, LU group, the very leading questions are intended to rile and misinform people about an issue, as opposed to actually getting feedback. Please read the City’s FAQ first.

For example the first real question in the survey begins with:

“In the past, all City of Lambertville purchases blah, blah were put to a vote through public referendum…”

REALLY? ALL? IS THAT TRUE? I’m not sure that is really true. Are we talking about the hills above Ely Field? Maybe this just doesn’t seem right due to the way it is phrased, because:

“Voters in November 2008 approved, by almost a 3-1 margin, extending the city’s open space tax, in part to purchase the McCann tract.”—NJ.com, (see link following)

BUT that referendum was not specifically on the purchase of the tract, it was about extending the tax.

The City condemned the hillside above Ely field, so technically the City didn’t purchase it, the city was obligated to pay market value, and you might recall there was a big controversy because the City paid way more than market value…another of Dave and Steve’s expensive adventures requiring a Google search to reveal the details: <https://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/2013/04/discussion_of_condemnation_for.html>

But was there a referendum about every other purchase?

Nevertheless, the “survey” doesn’t let me say, “You idiots, the Clossons aren’t going to wait for your stupid referendum, time is clearly of the essence!”

And the next question leads with assuming higher taxes, bonds, and debt, and uses the term “redevelopment” without mentioning “open space” or “historic preservation” or even suggesting that there are some creative options for buying the property. (Again, I suggest you read the FAQ—the truth is out there.)

Someone needs to ask LU to be honest about what they really want, because when you offer them something that—based on their anonymous public statements, press releases, and lawn signs all over town—it seems we all could agree on, their concerns appear to be way more about personalities than issues or facts. It would be good to get clear on that.

But, uh, oh yeah, they don’t have any names on their web site. You can’t actually talk to anyone from LU. They’re not a public non-profit. They’re a secret society. Darn.

If you’d like to participate in the City’s public discussion of the topic, where speakers are required to reveal their identities, the meeting is Monday evening…

https://www.lambertvillenj.org/component/dpcalendar/event/2011

Peace out,

— Christo

Your Air Freshener Makes Me Sick

SmellyTreeDeodorizerRant. Don’t read this if you don’t want to hear me go on about it. Seriously. Those bright colored Christmas Trees made of felt and soaked in some un-Godly formulation of toxic and aromatic chemicals that people put in their cars. Why?? I’d rather smell the rotting Burger King leftovers under your back seat than the chemical stench that overwhelms me when you open your car door. I can walk down the sidewalk and tell you which cars have these things in them just by smelling the air around the car. It’s AWFUL. Am I the only one who thinks so? When I’m traveling, and have a driver taking me to the airport, the only way to make a worse beginning to the trip than sitting in a car with an “Air Freshener” for an hour, is to do it with a stomach full of coffee. Oh yea, sitting on 95, stop and go Philly traffic with coffee sloshing around in my belly and overwhelmed by the noxious “freshener”. That is my Hell.

Once I knew someone who didn’t believe the smell was really so strong and obnoxious to me. I cannot tell you how many times I asked her to get rid of it. I begged her to throw it away. I swore I wouldn’t complain about it again if she would just take it out of the car before I got in. Finally, one day, as I was getting into her car she said, “It’s gone.”

“No, it’s not.” I replied.

“Oh, sure it is,” she said. “I threw it out. You must just be smelling the residual remains of it being in here!”

I took a whiff. “No, you’re just kidding, right? I can smell it strongly.”

“No,” she insisted. “It’s gone. Can’t we just drive?”

“Okay, one sec,” I said, looking around. Nothing obvious. I popped open the glove box, pushed a few envelopes aside. Found the f***ing phosphorescent Christmas Tree. Threw it out the window.

“Okay, drive.” I said.

Bitch.

But Really…Isn’t the Truth Good Enough?

Isn’t the truth good enough?

For some people, maybe not. I knew a young man once who worked in a French bakery. He, Italian girlfriend one-point-oh, and I, hung out some. And he told us how he played guitar in a band on “the Vineyard”—where he came from—but he didn’t have his guitar anymore. He also mentioned one time that he studied Kung Fu. I didn’t think anything of either of these declarations, because they seemed perfectly normal.

And then one night he was supposed to come join us for dinner at our apartment, and he was very late. Eventually he showed up, and said he had a problem with some driver who tried to run him (a pedestrian) off the road. He said he jumped on the hood of the guy’s car, and kicked in his windshield. Wow. I was impressed. It was Boston after all, and I had my own run-ins with the idiot drivers, so it really didn’t seem over-the-top. Not quite. Almost. The part about kicking in the windshield…he was wearing sneakers, and they didn’t seem the worse for the wear. Just how could a soft foot in a sneaker break a windshield? But I didn’t think too much about it at the time.

I had my guitar out, and I offered it to him. He hesitated and then picked it up carefully, and spent ten or 15 minutes touching it delicately, carefully, as if it were made of fine glass, without ever fingering a chord. How weird. “Just play it if you want.” I suggested.

“No, no, I have respect for an instrument. I just want to examine it.”

Okay, so he went on like that, it was painful to watch, and we eventually broke off and had dinner. He left, and I mentioned to Pal, my girlfriend, how odd he had seemed that night.

She looked at me matter-of-factly, and with a resigned sigh said, “He can’t play guitar.”

“What?” I asked.

“He can’t play guitar, and he doesn’t know Kung Fu.”

“What? Why would he tell us all that?”

“He’s chronically late. He made an excuse about kicking the guy’s windshield. It’s all bullshit, to distract us from the fact that he was over an hour late.”

“Really?” I couldn’t believe it! I just couldn’t understand why anyone needed to create such an elaborate story around something so minor as being late.

“Yea,” She continued, “He dug himself into a hole when he told you about ‘his band’, and when you handed him your guitar he had to improvise, but not on the guitar, because he can’t play.” She finished with a smile, revealing her slightly crooked front tooth. Adorable.

Jeez. Anyway, I was skeptical about everything the guy said from then on. I lost track of the guy, but he was the first of several “pathological liars” I have known. It always surprises me how gullible I feel when I realize afterwards how obvious it is that they are lying. How easy it is to believe them, and how bizarre it seems that they create this stuff, inevitably, to enhance their own image, or escape their own human frailties.

I was working retail, selling computers. There was a guy in the service department, and I used to hang out there and chat, waiting for things to get assembled, installed, or fixed. (In those days, a personal computer had to be “built” with certain options – type of video card, amount of RAM, type of drive – were all optional. I know kids, it’s hard for you to even imagine what I’m talking about – we’ll discuss that in some future post.)

This guy, I’ll call him “Bob”, was a little older than me, but not much older, a big guy, maybe six-four, over 225 pounds. No matter what shirt he wore, his belly always bulged over this pant waist. He was generally very friendly and upbeat. And out of the blue one day he started telling me about his time as an Army Ranger. I didn’t even know he had been in the Army.

“Yea, it was pretty good. I know how to use a knife, and I was a sniper.”

“Really?” I asked, in awe, “That must have been quite an adventure!”

“Yea,” He said, “The worst thing was when I got this infection.”

“Really?”

“Yep, snipers can’t move for days. I was camouflaged, on my belly; I had to pee in my pants. For days. My dick got all infected. When I finally got back to the base, the doctor had to slice me open to let out all the puss.” He was very matter-of-fact about this.

“You mean?”

“Right,” He said with a sniff, “From the base almost to the tip! Like a hot dog. That’s why I can’t have kids.” His words were even more descriptive than this, but I will spare you.

“Shit!” I said.

“I was serving America. Shit happens. I have a scar to prove it.”

I didn’t ask to see the scar. Six or eight months went by. Bob married his girlfriend. She got pregnant. I wondered how that happened. I mentioned it to Bob’s boss, who I also hung out with. “How did Carol get pregnant?”

“The usual way I would think,” Roger replied.

“I mean, with Bob’s injury and everything. Did they have a sperm donor?”

“What injury? What are you talking about?” Roger asked.

“From the Rangers, when he was a sniper. Don’t you know about that?” I figured he must, they worked pretty closely there in the service department.

“He told you that story too? It’s bogus, I called him on it. He was never in the Army, and certainly not the Rangers! He was having some fun with you.”

Yea, ‘having some fun’. A gross story with pretty elaborate detail in the effort too. And never cleared up the mess. I’m glad I didn’t ask his wife about it! And from that day forward, I didn’t trust anything that Bob said.

Maybe I’m just gullible. Or trusting. Or Carraway-esque? There were a few more big liars in my life, and I’ll tell you about them when I get a minute.

—Christo